FEWER homeless families from London have been rehoused in Colchester, latest figures show.

Colchester Council has received just one notification from a fellow authority during 2019/20. Last year, it was told four families were moving in and in 2017/18 it was nine.

However, the council said there is no requirement for another council to notify them.

It means the figures could be higher as people may have moved into the borough of their own accord or with help.

Last December, leaders from councils across Essex wrote a letter to London mayor Sadiq Khan and senior politicians in the capital.

The Essex Leaders and Chief Executives Group raised a series of issues, including a lack of communication between London authorities and Essex councils informing them of people being moved into the area, families being placed in inadequate housing, and the impact on services.

Mr Khan said he was “willing to play a part in conversations” and claimed he made it clear to London boroughs they have an obligation to inform local authorities of any moves.

A joint meeting was subsequently held between London and the Essex councils.

Work was started on drawing up a protocol between all councils about the circumstances under which they would place a homeless household out of their area.

But the Health Forum Committee had raised concerns families were still moving into north Essex in a report to the North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group.

A spokesman for Colchester Council said: “The number of official notifications other local authorities have to provide us when they place a homeless family in Colchester has fallen significantly – from nine in 2017/18 down to four last year and just one to date in 2019/2020.”